Working in tech, you’ll often hear the term “Impostor Syndrome”. Although the term can apply to anyone working in any industry, I’ve heard the tech world throw it around the most. I’ve recently come to believe the phenomenon to be true.

What is impostor syndrome?

Although I usually try to construct my own understandings about anything from various sources, Wikipedia’s definition on the term seems pretty accurate to me. There may be a better way of putting it, but here’s what they describe:

Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

Now, I wouldn’t go as far referring to it as a fear in my case, but it definitely is a very uncomfortable, even aggravating, feeling. I had always imagined that those with a bedrock of experience in their field wouldn’t succumb to a feeling of self-doubt such as this, but I’ve learned it can really happen to anyone. The factors that contributed to this experience in my case were my lack of qualifications and an inability to boast or sell myself.

My current job is as a Systems Analyst (ticket pusher) whereas previously I was a CIO, I had left an entire IT department for a company completely on my own for 3 years as well. In those previous roles I had to wear multiple different hats which really allowed me to gain a broadened understanding of the corporate field of IT.

I’m not a proud person, I really don’t see much in my self to show off about, but I do have to say that it stings a little being patronized by for answering a ticket incorrectly, or being mistaken in a conclusion. I’m fully aware that if I have committed these mistakes in the first place it surely indicates a lack of precision on my end that needs to be corrected, but man, I’ve built systems from the ground up to cater to over 1200 machines at a time, I’ve held B2B calls with IBM, I’ve automated 40% of workflows from departments I didn’t even manage, fuck off with the “tut, tut, tuts” a little bit.

It sounds salty I know, and I know that this all stems from my own insecurities. I think in my case the root cause of this is my own degree of qualifications that support my experience. My CV is 100% experience-based, I have no certs or diplomas. So, I’m going to change all of that now and undertake the LPIC exams to gain a bit of “read that shit.” matterial.

I’m not expressing this in a very coherent or consistent way I think, but you’ll see when I post my certs, you’ll all see!